One of the most iconic symbols for of Paris went up in flames on Monday, eliciting heartbreak among travelers who have visited the City of Light’s grand Norte-Dame Cathedral. The sentiment was shared by many Chinese travelers as well who took to social media platforms like Weibo and WeChat to express their love for the devastated world treasure.
In response to the fire, major luxury groups LVMH and Kering have pledged to help in the cathedral’s reconstruction. Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault was the first to jump into the reconstruction effort, saying he would personally donate $113 million (€100 million) to the fund to rebuild the cathedral (Kering has not yet announced if it has plans to help out).
Meanwhile, LVMH Group and the Arnault family, headed by billionaire businessman Bernard Arnault, have pledged a combined $226 million (€200 million) toward the effort. In a statement, the company also offered to assist the government with fundraising and logistics.
France was the 17th most visited overseas destination for Chinese tourists last year, attracting more than 2 million arrivals, and most of them visited the sights of Paris, including Notre-Dame.